Tips & AdviceAre NYC Homeowners Responsible for Installing Air Conditioner Window Brackets?

Are NYC Homeowners Responsible for Installing Air Conditioner Window Brackets?

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Are NYC Homeowners Responsible for Installing Air Conditioner Window Brackets?

Summer in New York City gets hot, really hot. This past summer recorded the most 90-degree days since 2010, and residents throughout the city consistently look for a cool escape from the sweltering heat. Homeowners may install air conditioning units in their condos or co-ops to help avoid the summer sweat. When doing so in a unit located on the sixth floor or above, owners likely must comply with building regulations, which building owners set in place to abide by local safety laws.

Ultimately, someone who owns property in New York City becomes responsible for installing window brackets in their home to comply with local regulations. However, different building types may require additional processes and have their own specific rules about how to install window air conditioners. Some homeowners can ask their building for support if they require assistance installing brackets.

What is FISP?

Building owners who care for properties that are six stories tall or taller must comply with the Façade and Local Law as part of the Façade Inspection & Safety Program (FISP). Established in 1998, this local program ensures buildings remain safe for residents and passersby. Those who enroll in the program must successfully complete an inspection every five years to guarantee the building’s exterior is up to code. As part of the regulation, building owners must also repair unsafe exterior conditions within 90 days of a report.

A safe exterior consists of secured items like bricks, decorations, and air conditioning units. Items that are not secure could fall onto the streets and severely injure those walking on sidewalks. Unsecure window air conditioning units may receive a SWARMP label, conveying that the air conditioning unit is safe but requires maintenance.

What Are Window Brackets?

With many older buildings around New York City that lack central air conditioning, property owners and renters alike use window air conditioning units to keep cool in the warmer months. Since window AC units are quite large, they require window brackets to hold them in place.

Window brackets are brackets, frames, or bars that support the weight and size of a window-mounted air conditioning unit. Window brackets help eliminate the risk of the unit falling out the window and injuring a pedestrian. Consumers can purchase window brackets from most major retailers for under $100.

Are Homeowners Responsible for Installing Window Brackets?

Responsibility for window brackets may shift depending on where a homeowner purchases their property. In co-ops, homeowners may be at the liberty of their board to determine their share of responsibility. Across the board, a homeowner should consult with their building staff if they plan to install a window air conditioner. This helps ensure they follow the proper procedure and protect themselves from financial liabilities.

Window Brackets in Condos

Condo owners on the sixth floor or above must install a window bracket with their window air conditioner. Owners can decide to install the bracket themselves or hire a professional to complete the job. Before hiring a professional, consult with building staff to see if a porter or handyman will complete the job at a discounted rate.

Building staff, condo boards, and other organizations that facilitate building maintenance may conduct their own inspections to ensure unit owners comply with window air conditioning requirements.

Window Brackets in Co-ops

Those who plan to install a window AC unit in a co-op should consult with their board before moving forward. While most co-op boards should agree with the request, they may prove more stringent about window brackets. Co-op boards may have their own specific rules about window air conditioners, like this board that requires their residents to keep their units installed year-round to prevent mishaps during the installation and removal process.

How to Install Window Brackets

Handy homeowners may decide to install window brackets on their own. With a drill, some helping hands, and a cautious attitude, the job can take little time and effort. Make sure to read the air conditioner’s instruction manual carefully and follow 311 guidelines to carefully install the unit without injuring anyone in the process. When done correctly, the process should only take about fifteen minutes to complete.

Installation guidelines from the New York City website include the following:

  • Owners must structurally fasten window brackets to the building’s envelope and prove strong enough for the size and weight of the air conditioner.
  • Window air conditioners cannot use loose objects like bricks, wood, or books to level the surface.

Homeowners who do not feel comfortable or confident installing a window air conditioner by themselves can ask a friend or family member for assistance. They can also seek help from their building staff, as they may provide or have access to low-cost professionals to help remove the

How to Dispose of an Air Conditioner

If homeowners need to get rid of a broken or old air conditioner, they must schedule an appointment with city staff to ensure proper disposal. Air conditioners contain chlorofluorocarbon gas, and the city requires safe removal for any appliance that contains CFC. Property owners can click here to schedule disposal with the city’s sanitation department.

Conclusion

To avoid overheating during the summer months, building owners can install a window air conditioner in their homes. However, they must comply with local guidelines and install window brackets if on the sixth floor or above. By taking time to properly install an air conditioner, NYC residents help keep fellow residents safe from injury-causing incidents.

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